Kay Morley-Brown

Although born in Yorkshire, Kay achieved all of her best performances whilst a schoolteacher in Cardiff. In Auckland in 1990, she became only the second Welsh female athlete - Kirsty Wade is the other - to win an athletics gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

She won the 100m hurdles in 12.91secs, a time which still stands to this day at the end of the 2013 track and field season as the Welsh record. At the time it was also the third fastest ever recorded by a British athlete behind Sally Gunnell and Shirley Strong. She is Wales’ only female sprint hurdler to be categorised as truly world class.

Kay came to study at Cardiff University in 1983, and soon became part of the Welsh athletics set-up, teaming up with Malcolm Arnold, the then Welsh National Coach, and mentor to former world 110m hurdles record holder Colin Jackson and world and European indoor 60m hurdles bronze medallist Nigel Walker.

Her winning streak of seven consecutive Welsh 100m hurdles titles is unparalleled at the Welsh Championships. Not even Colin Jackson, Nigel Walker or Berwyn Price, who dominated Welsh and British sprint hurdling over a period of 20 years can match Kay’s feat.

She retired after the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, having married Gareth Brown, the first Welsh athlete to run a sub four-minute mile on Welsh soil the previous year.

Hurdling runs in the Morley family. Kay is the sister of Sue Morley the former holder of the British record for 400 hurdles who just missed getting a medal for England in the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games.

Her first year in Welsh athletics in 1985 saw her ranked only fourth in the 100 hurdles with a best time of 15.21 when she finished behind Liz Wren at the Welsh championships. However, for the next seven years she was crowned Welsh champion and three times UK champion. She also broke the Welsh record on five occasions taking it from 14.21 to 12.91.

She made the first of her seventeen appearances (with nine victories) for Wales against Catalonia in 1986 when she won in 14.29. Her appearances for Britain totalled twelve with three of these indoors.

The high spot of her career was undoubtedly on February 2nd 1990 when against all expectations she was crowned Commonwealth Champion in Auckland with 12.91secs. Her indoor record of 8.16secs also still stands, and both are likely to remain on the books for some time ahead, such was her dominance in the events.

Kay shares with Michelle Scutt, Kirsty Wade, Angela Tooby and Venissa Head the double distinction of being the only Welsh women athletes to win medals at the Commonwealth Games and to have competed in all the major international championships - the World and European championships, Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Kay was inducted into the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

Mike Walters and Clive Williams

Updated Feb 2014

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
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